Homo / ??!! / Religion
NALT Watch: The Ad That Was Too Controversial for Sojourners
by Dan Savage
on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM
Okay, um... gee. Not a believer, not interested in being welcomed into anyone's church (prefer the Fremont Market on Sundays to just about anything else), but that ad made me mist up a bit. "Welcome, everyone." Nice message, cute kid, cute couple. Now I don't think kids belong in churches—"Youth Pastor Watch" archives are here—but if you're gonna take your kid to church, you really ought to find a church where everyone is welcome... gay or straight.
So, anyway, this ad was rejected by Sojourners, which considers itself the leading publication—in print and on the web—for progressive Christians. Okay! If progressive Christians can't unite behind the concept of welcome then, gee, what the fuck good are they? Noisy NALT Christian and blogger John Shore—a progressive Christian in deed, not just word—isn't having it. In an open letter to "famous progressive Christian" Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, Shore writes...
Anyway, last week or so the folks at Believe Out Loud tried to buy ad space for this video on Sojo.net. They were hoping the video might run on your site on Mother’s Day, for which of course it would have been particularly apropos. I say “would have been,” because guess what happened? Someone at Sojourners turned down the ad buy for the video! Can you believe it? Me neither! In refusing the video, someone in your office wrote to the Believe Out Loud people, “I’m afraid we’ll have to decline. Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue. In that care [sic], the decision to accept [this] advertising may give the appearance of taking sides.” That person went on to say that Sojourners has not taken a stance on gay marriage, or on the ordination of homosexuals.
I know! Can you imagine someone working for you declaring that video to be too radical or controversial for Sojourners to be associated with? It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? Hasn’t that person even read the Sojourners Diversity Statement?
The ad doesn't endorse gay marriage. It recognizes the existence of same-sex couples and the fact that many gay couples are raising children and it endorses welcoming them. Just welcoming them. A gay wedding doesn't break out, no rice is thrown, no bouquets reeking of the gay agenda are tossed, no groomsmen are bent over and fisted. It welcomes gay couples and their children—most of whom will grow up to be straight—to come to church and meet this Jesus person they've heard so much about. The same Jesus who welcomed lepers and prostitutes and Samaritans. (Personally I can't stand Samaritans.) And suggesting that followers of this Jesus person might wanna welcome same-sex couples and their children is too controversial for the progressives at Sojourners? Shit like this would cause me to lose all hope for "progressive" Christians if it weren't for truly progressive Christians like John Shore.